Audio of the Annual Board of Directors Meeting – November 10
Highlights from the 2013 Annual MDI Board of Directors Meeting
Over the second weekend of November, the MDI Board of Directors met in San Diego for their annual board meeting and long-term planning meeting.
San Diego Men’s Division did an outstanding job of supporting the meeting, and we are grateful there are men in San Diego that can take on such commitments with a ‘no problem’ attitude!
The Board consists of members from every region, the Chairman, Treasurer and the President. MDI’s CFO Doug Rubin is also present on most of the Board calls and meetings. Each Board representative serves on the Board and also serves on at least one other committee, such as the finance committee, the policy and planning committee, the technology committee, etc. Currently we have 13 Members. The Board of Directors’ responsibility is to ensure that we are a stable, member-supported organization with a clear direction, structure and resources. Last year the Board updated its nine key responsibilities; they are printed below. This is the first time we have met for an entire weekend, and the meeting was very productive.
The Board performed the various organizational activities we are responsible for:
- Reviewing the 2014 budget
- Reviewing the performance of the President
- Checking our policies and procedures, etc.
We looked at our technology plan and how to roll out a comprehensive member website in the next year; we looked at our long-range plans and looked at our risk management and other organizational actions that must get done.
The major theme of our meeting was looking at how to build MDI into a more powerful, dynamic, membership-driven organization. We have been aware of several facts for some time now. As an organization, we spend a lot of time trying to communicate to our members, with limited success. We are really an organization made up of smaller, autonomous “chapters” called Regions, Divisions, and Teams. We are not a “Top-Down” organization, but we aren’t exactly a “Bottom-Up” organization either. In fact, if you ask exactly what kind of an organization we are, you will get as many answers as men you ask.
The board has been working to find the “sweet spot” between a structured, “top-down” leadership-driven organization and a de-centralized “bottom-up” values-based organization. This may not matter to many men at the team and division level, but it is a major factor in why we struggle to grow, expand and find ways to connect all of our diverse membership across the continent.
We will be meeting with our respective regions over the next several months to work with their men to further define our strengths and weaknesses in this area. Over the next two years, we will be undertaking a structural re-organization that will reflect the organization we really are, not the organization we think we are.
This direction will allow MDI to:
- Connect each man through our common values, ideology and principles
- Connect our members to what MDI stands for, rather than what we do
- Create a community where men can communicate freely and across all chains of command
- Build on the concept that every man deserves and will have a team, whether or not he lives in a region
- Create more transparency at all levels, particularly with respect to finances and accountability
- Retain the men who have found success in their own lives but aren’t inspired to stay in MDI
- Attract and engage younger men who are our future
- Build stronger leadership training and continue to grow our events
- Build an organization of connected, masculine leaders who are actively fulfilling our mission
This may sound abstract or irrelevant to many men, but it is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to ensure that MDI continues to grow, change, and adapt, not continue to hold on to an idea that we will naturally grow in our present form. The truth is we have been shrinking, despite making huge differences in many men’s lives. It is time for MDI to grow – because the world needs worthy mature masculine men and MDI is a great path to delivering exactly that.
In the spirit of transparency, here is the annual Board Meeting’s Financial Impact: 14 men were present. Every Board member was present, as well as our CFO Doug Rubin. Overall, the meeting cost around $6,500, and was paid for out of the Board of Director’s budget. This was $500 over budget, mostly due to excess airfare and transportation expenses as a result of bad weather. We wanted our men present at the meeting. The Board budgeted paying for lodging, meals and transportation. Other expenses were paid out of pocket by the directors themselves. Men shared rooms, and we got a very competitive deal from a hotel in the area that is managed by an MDI man.
The Men of the Board:
Chris Christopher (Chairman)
Sandy Peisner (President)
Gerry Holowachuk (Treasurer)
Denis Moreau (Secretary)
Olaf Krop (Vice Chairman)